Entering Game 1, folks wondered if the No. 8 seed had a chance. Headed toward Game 2, we ask a rather different question: Can the No. 8 seed sweep?

Kevin Durant finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Glen Davis might not know the most about the Clippers and the dynamics of their locker room. He has spent less than two months with the team.

LOS ANGELES-There was less than a minute remaining, the score was tied, and where was the Clippers' most valuable player, biggest star and human billboard?

Mike Budenholzer was an assistant coach with the No. 1-seed Spurs when they lost an opening-round Western Conference playoff series to the No. 8 Grizzlies two seasons ago. It was one of only five times in NBA history there has been such an upset.

The Atlanta Hawks returned to Indianapolis and picked up right where they left off.

Once the NBA playoffs start, games tend to slow to a crawl.

So much for home-court advantage in the NBA playoffs.

After coaching the Golden State Warriors to an upset win against the Los Angeles Clippers to kick off the postseason, Mark Jackson listed the adversity each of his players had faced in their careers.

Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points and Paul Millsap added 25 as eighth-seeded Atlanta rolled past top-seeded Indiana 101-93 on Saturday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Dallas Mavericks go into their first-round matchup against the San Antonio Spurs knowing ball protection will be a major key in determining who will win this series.

Al Jefferson is a 10-year NBA veteran. He likes small towns in the Deep South, like the one he's from in Mississippi. He's a big man who is not very expressive on the court. He has a game straight from the 1980s � a back-to-the-basket post player with an old-school array of ball fakes.

Atlanta's Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers' grand playoff plan.

Indianapolis native Jeff Teague enjoyed his playoff homecoming, scoring 28 points with five assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a surprising 101-93 win over the top-seeded Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Records and stats final regular season:

If D.J. Augustin doesn't sleep well Saturday night, he surely won't blame his newborn son, Trey.

For the first time, the NBA this season will reveal the ballots cast by media members for its annual postseason awards.

For the first time, the NBA this season will reveal the ballots cast by media members for its annual postseason awards.

The Bulls had two three-day breaks in the final four weeks of the regular season, playing poorly in a 17-point home loss against the Trail Blazers after one and winning impressively on the road against the Timberwolves following the other.

Dallas Mavericks fans can always look at the bright side. This team is only about half the underdog the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference was against the No. 1 seed seven years ago.

There were moments when it was difficult to tell what truly mattered for the Miami Heat. They played big; they played small. They played hard; they played not so hard. They got up for the biggest challenges; they shrunk from the smallest ones. There was stability; there was flux.

Klay Thompson tallied 22 points and seven rebounds and despite horrid foul shooting down the stretch from both teams, the Golden State Warriors stole home-court advantage from the Los Angeles Clippers with a 109-105 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series from Staples Center.

The Golden State Warriors stumbled out of the gate, missing their first eight shots while falling behind by 11 points and forcing coach Mark Jackson to call two timeouts to steady his young team.

The Houston Rockets were happy simply to return to the playoffs last season.

For weeks in February, practically the only time Udonis Haslem and Rashard Lewis worked up a sweat on game nights was during the spirited pregame 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 battles among Heat reserves.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Is anyone at Sleep Train Arena actually getting any sleep these days? Didn't think so. Barely hours into the offseason, which will be far less traumatizing than the previous three years for obvious reasons - the league just said no to relocation! - the Kings' owners and front-office executives are staring into the teeth of three significant personnel issues.

So it begins again. The fun and fuming. The nerves and nonsense. And the stakes for the Heat that escalate beyond anything Charlotte offers Sunday in the playoff opener, maybe beyond even a third NBA title shimmering in a distant June.

It isn't often the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning play a 60-minute game.Twenty-six saves by Carey Price and two goals by Rene Bourque helped make this the rare case. David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher also scored and the Canadiens beat the Lightning 4-1 Friday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Sunday's Game 3 in Montreal. They won Game 1 on Wednesday when Dale Weise scored 18:08 into overtime -- the fourth time in five meetings between the teams during this past season and the playoffs that one of their games was decided after regulation. On Friday, all the goals came in the second and third period, the first three against Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback, who was pulled after Gallagher scored with 8:14 left. Price was within 1:59 of his first playoff shutout in three years before Teddy Purcell scored on a power play.

Dwyane Wade made his intentions known four years ago.

To understand the impact and influence Tyrone Green had on Joakim Noah, just go back to Noah's 2007 draft night.

Never mind all they overcame. The only obstacle that matters now for the Chicago Bulls is the one in front of them.

Yes, there is great leaguewide respect for the two-time defending champion Heat. But when some of the other Eastern Conference playoff teams look at the Heat and Indiana, they see opportunity, considering Miami went 11-14 since March 4 and Indiana lost 13 of its past 23.

For the Heat, the color and pageantry of the NBA playoffs will be muted, with TNT sideline report Craig Sager missing the postseason to be treated for leukemia.

The Milwaukee Bucks will have the best chance at landing the top overall pick in the June 26 NBA draft and can drop no lower than the No. 4 overall selection.

The book on Chris Bosh is he's more of a spot-up shooter than a frontcourt giant, and for the season's first 61 games, he was an elite one.

Most of us are not like Miami's LeBron James. We don't move in a straight line to the top of our profession. We aren't chosen.

When the Bulls and Wizards tip off Sunday night at the United Center, John Wall will be making his playoff debut. So will his backcourt running mate, Bradley Beal.

Paul Pierce and the veteran-laden Brooklyn Nets took over down the stretch to gain the upper hand in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Toronto Raptors, coming through with a 94-87 Game 1 victory at a raucous Air Canada Centre.

The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors.

No matter what media blowhards like me say, individuals don't win championships, even in the NBA. Not Wilt Chamberlain. Not Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or LeBron James. No, not even Michael Jordan.

The general consensus is that the San Antonio Spurs will finish this year what they failed to finish last year and capture the 2014 NBA title.

This is the time of year that reputations and championships are made. Two-time defending champion Miami looks for the NBA's first three-peat since Kobe and Shaq's Lakers (2000-2002). The star power is immense, including LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. Let's play ball:

Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri made disparaging remarks towards the Brooklyn Nets during a fan rally outside the Air Canada Centre prior to Saturday's Game 1 of the teams' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

NBA players are warned at the start of every season about the dangers of nutritional supplements.

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri let loose a profanity about the Brooklyn Nets during a pregame address meant to pump up a group of fans outside Air Canada Centre before Saturday's opening game of the NBA playoffs.

If the Miami Heat are going to watch their season and reign atop the NBA end at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats, then fates of the franchises will have to change in a hurry.

While San Antonio Spurs steamrolled toward their fourth 60-win season in 11 years, coach Gregg Popovich was asked if there is a secret formula for the franchise's almost unfathomable run of excellence.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies will renew their postseason rivalry Saturday night when the two squads meet at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Indiana Pacers earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and they'll begin their crusade for an NBA title Saturday night when they welcome the Atlanta Hawks to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

If there are two bloodsport rivals in the Western Conference, it has to be the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, powers of the Pacific Division, who meet at the Staples Center Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of the quarterfinals.

Two Atlantic Division rivals kick off the 2014 Playoffs on Saturday afternoon when the champion Toronto Raptors host the Brooklyn Nets at Air Canada Centre.

My first Detroit Free Press beat was covering the Bad Boys during their first NBA championship season in 1989.

This time it feels different, doesn't it? The Heat in the Big 3 Era always has found a way to keep things fresh and keep us fascinated, and now that means trying on a role unlike any the team has played in the previous three seasons. This time, for the first time since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade, Miami enters a postseason seeming a bit vulnerable � something close to the unlikeliest of underdogs.

Imagine all the text messages and voicemails Steve Clifford received when he was named coach of the Charlotte Bobcats last spring.

LOS ANGELES-Aside from the constant refrain of whether the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors dislike or hate each other, their first-round Western Conference playoff series has the potential to be very entertaining.

Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts expects guard Damian Lillard to make a quick adjustment to playoff basketball.

Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Friday that Jermaine O'Neal will start Game1 at center Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Now all that's left to determine is if Jackson will hold to it.

Less than 24 hours before the seventh- seeded Grizzlies open their playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA announced they will be without the services of reserve point guard Nick Calathes.

Aches and pains took their toll on Andre Iguodala in his first season with the Golden State Warriors.

Dirk Nowitzki has the spring back in his pogo stick of a jump shot.

LOS ANGELES-There's a new word in the upper reaches of Lakers management that's drifting out toward fans and players, even those in France.

Mike Dunleavy possesses a dry, sarcastic sense of humor and downplays most individual accomplishments.

LOS ANGELES-A smile crossed Blake Griffin's face as he weaved his way through a media throng Friday to answer questions about the first-round playoff series between his Clippers and the Golden State Warriors.

It's been done before.

Adrian Dantley didn't watch Thursday night's "Bad Boys" 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN.

Paul Millsap may have saved the Hawks' season.

Al Horford will not return from a torn pectoral muscle for the postseason, Hawks officials reiterated Friday.

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.

As the oldest of four boys, DeAndre Jordan is used to setting an example. He not only had to show his brothers how to behave and act, he had to share his time and put his desires aside.

The defining moment of Chris Bosh's career occurred during the unlikeliest of games.

Not long after the Memphis Grizzlies clinched their playoff matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Suzanne Summar fired up her laptop and tried to buy a ticket for a game in Oklahoma City to support her Griz.

As luxuries go, the Grizzlies won't be afforded many as they check into the NBA playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

Paul George already has a winning resume.

The last time the Hawks entered the playoffs as a No. 8 seed, it nonetheless was viewed as such a momentous occasion that coach Mike Woodson felt compelled to fulfill a promise and shave his head. We'll never know if it was the result of some otherworldly spiritual energy emanating from Woodson's globey head, but the 37-45 Hawks proceeded to stretch the 66-16 (and eventual league champion) Boston Celtics to a seven-game series, nearly pulling off one of the greatest upsets in NBA history.

Alex Conley has watched his grandson score thousands of baskets at gymnasiums across the country, from elementary school heaves to gliding layups under the bright lights of the National Basketball Association.

Point guards Michael Carter-Williams of Philadelphia and Trey Burke of Utah were named Rookies of the Month for April.

Billions of dollars couldn't console Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris this season. Ok, maybe just a little.

A year ago, Memphis blew past Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals.

TNT analyst Craig Sager will miss the NBA playoffs as he undergoes treatment for leukemia.

Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

Charlotte's Steve Clifford and Memphis' Dave Joerger have been named the NBA's Coaches of the Month for April, the league has announced.

The Toronto Raptors won the Atlantic Division and set a franchise record with 48 wins. They've still been labeled the weakest of the top four playoff teams in the Eastern Conference.

If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship.

Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is plotting the team's future after an unexpectedly successfully season, and he's confident that future includes Eric Bledsoe.

LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call "Championship Alley" a few minutes after last season's NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message.

As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don't like each other, they're a lot alike in some ways.

Charlotte Bobcats guard Chris Douglas-Roberts remembers feeling so depressed last year that he didn't want to get out of bed.

The Utah Jazz have won a tiebreaker with the Boston Celtics, giving them a chance for a better pick in the NBA draft.

Taj Gibson flashed back to the grueling workouts in the searing Southern California heat last summer.

The regular season is behind us.

Longtime Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager will start treatment for leukemia on Friday and will not work for the network during the early stages of the NBA Playoffs.

The tone in Kawhi Leonard's voice never changes.

Army graduate Mike Krzyzewski will lead a U.S. national team practice at his alma mater, and the U.S. women will train at the Naval Academy as part of an increased partnership among the NBA, USA Basketball and the Department of Defense.

The Pacers believe things have changed.

Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson says Jermaine O'Neal will start in place of injured center Andrew Bogut for Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series at the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Even as the NBA prepares for a draft that could be headlined by freshmen, Commissioner Adam Silver remains committed to keeping them in college.

The Detroit Pistons will use the executive search firm Korn Ferry to help with their pursuit of a new general manager.

Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has joined the Oklahoma City Thunder's ownership team.

Before the season started, a poll suggested that the Miami Heat were the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA title, collecting a whopping 76 percent of ballots cast.

Former Chicago high school star Aaron Simpson has signed a letter of intent to play at DePaul next season.

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